Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bill Knott Speaks Out

This was posted today over at Bill Knott's


*please go to this website and vote for me to be blog

i'm not on the roster of nominees, so post a vote for me as a write-in candidate . . .

by definition only a blog poet can be blog laureate, and none of the current nominees are blog poets . . .

none of the nominees listed on the ballot are eligible for the post, because they're not blog poets . . .

they're not blog poets because they don't publish their poetry on their blogs . . .

i may not be worthy of bloglaureatehood, but at least i publish my poetry on my blog, which ergo makes me a blog poet . . .

you can't be a blog poet if you don't publish your poetry on your blog . . .

that's a fact, and no ad hominem aspersions of me will change it . . ."

Posted on on 4/23/2007 at 4:22 by Anonymous

do they publish their poetry on their blogs? all of it? i have posted all of mine on my blog, or am in the process of doing it . . . I've posted hundreds of poems from over forty years of writing poetry . . . have any of these nominees published to the same degree on their blogs? how can you be a blog poet if you don't publish your poetry (all of it) on your blog??? most of your nominees are dead tree poets, not blog poets

Posted on 4/23/2007 at 4:30 by Anonymous

oops forget to add my name to the comment above: Bill Knott


Dear Bill,

I respect the fact that you have published and continue to publish your poetry on your Blog. Disseminating your poetry for public consumption is commendable and certainly (in my opinion) adheres to the spirit of the medium. I must also admit that I enjoy reading the poetry on your blog. That you have not been nominated for this honor is unfortunate. But I don't see how denigrating those that have been nominated - thus belittling the process and title changes that fact.

I do not believe that I belong on such a list of poets or that there is any danger, any time soon, of me being elected Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere. I am sure that whomever is elected will be a much worthier candidate than myself. I am relatively new to the PoBiz and am neither an MFA student nor educator in creative writing. I am not a "dead tree poet" in that I have not been published, although the thought that I should be has crossed my mind on several occasions. I publish most, if not all, my poetry on my blog in a series of posts that I call "Poems in Vitro".

Someone on an on-line poetry workshop once informed me that I was a much better critic of the literary genre than practitioner and that I would never amount to anything as a poet. I am, I hope, in the process of proving that assertion to be fallacious.

Finally, while I may not agree with your contention, I believe you have every right to voice your opinion. However, I do not understand how deriding this ethernet election, which only appears to spotlight the poet online and furthers "Poetry" (in this relatively new medium) can coincide with your obvious love for and devotion to Ars Poetica.

Best Regards
Nick Bruno


DeadMule said...

Hi Nick, I'm another of the "unworthies." I, too, have no MFA nor university position. I write poetry, and I hope day to see it in a book made of "dead trees."
Helen Losse

This will come up as DeadMule becasue I'm the Poetry Editor there. We publish online, but every now and then we dare think book.

Anonymous said...

Huh. What a strange world. Personally, I rarely put any of my poems up online - and then only those that have already spent their "first publishing rights" in print. I just know I am typically in a different mode - browsing and skimming - when I read anything online. So why not put pieces you have worked so hard on into a format where people's mindset is most likely to be geared toward really taking in the work - i.e. on the beautiful white linen of a milled tree carcass, bound between more dead tree by the hooves of a slaughtered horse and twine made from killing cotton plants?

Sure, the promise of the internet is a massive global audience. But personally, having one person really take in something I have written - on their lap, in a book, by flashlight in bed - is worth thousands of so-called "hits."

That said, I think the blogosphere is a great place for kicking around ideas in the realm of literary criticism and craft.

So, the idea of honoring only those who publish poems online seems misguided. The first poet laureate of the blogosphere, Ron Silliman, seems concerned almost exclusively with criticism these days. And hasn't he made a contribution in his way? Wasn't he really the obvious first choice?

Whether you publish your poems online or not is a very personal decision. But thinking that you have made more of a contribution to poetry by putting poems up online instead of essays, reviews or commentary is a shortsighted and I dare say solipsistic view of poetry.

Poetry is a river. We all add our drops.

Nick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick said...

Helen, nice to meet you. One of the benefits I have profited from by being nominated for this title is becoming acquainted with internet poets that I would not have otherwise. Best of luck with your literary pursuits.


I'm not sure that everyone only browses and skims online. I don't. But I do agree that having the poem in "hard copy" makes it more tangible and palpable. For example I like to read my news in newspaper format instead of online.

That being said, if my poetry reaches somebody online that it would not have had I only stuck to print journals and publishing, then I am doing myself, my poetry and perhaps (at the risk of sounding pretentious) even the reader a disservice.

Re: Poetry is a river. We all add our drops.

Some disgruntled poets, it appears, add more than just drops.

Anonymous said...

Hey, you kids! Stop peeing in the river! :)

Point taken about the sharing, Nick. I just know for me the interweb is a deceptive mistress.

Nick said...

It wasn't the peeing I was worried about.... Speaking of "deceptive mistresses" I think my Muse (who works part time at Costco) is cheating on me with a Lithuanian poet. Don't ask.

Collin said...

I read far more poetry online than I do in journals. There is much more interesting poetry being published online these days. I am happy to be part of the poetry blogosphere.

Nick said...

Say, Collin, could you send some of those votes of yours my way to make me look halfway respectable. :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to be a part of the poetry blogosphere, too. I find interesting discussions and commentary. But for poems, I turn to journals and books.

I was wondering who that ethereal figure with the Lithuanian accent unloading pallets behind Costco could have been. She was cussing in iambic pentameter about the weight of the jumbo sized pork 'n' beans crates.

Nick said...

Breaking News: My Muse is cheating on me with another woman!

Anonymous said...

"Another" as in you're a woman now? Oh I get it you mean your muse is a woman herself. Well, yeah. Muses tend to swing both ways. And through several languages as well, apparently. If it gets really seedy, you can always request a Muse Transfer (form 27b) but frankly, it's a lot of paperwork.

Rachel Mallino said...


It saddens me that someone told you that you would never amount to anything as a poet. I visit your blog and read your poetry, often. I find it quite enjoyable. Best wishes, rachel.

Nick said...


Thank you for your kind words. Actually, the individual that made the comment online did me a favor and was inadvertently responsible for my working up the gumption to send my work to journals such as "Shenandoah" which in the end published the work that was denigrated by said individual. "All's well that end well."


No, not the 27b form in triplicate.....Er... I'll stick with my two-timing Muse.